A 95-year-old World War Two veteran who was taken to A&E was forced to spend 26 hours waiting on a trolley in a corridor before a bed was found for him.
In a shocking indictment of the pressures facing the NHS, Stanley Solomons was made to wait on the trolley for more than a day at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham before he could get a place on a ward.
He was admitted to hospital on Sunday after staff at his nursing home became worried about his health. He was seen by A&E medics but it was Monday afternoon by the time he got a bed, reports the Mirror.
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And it’s not the first time it’s happened to the war hero, who originally hails from the East End of London.
Back in 2019, even before the pressures on the health service caused by the pandemic, Stanley was forced to wait 12 hours to be seen by a doctor at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Stanley’s daughter Rachael Ellis remained at his side during his latest wait on a trolley.
Rachael, a Labour councillor and a retired social worker, said she was “shocked” at the number of people waiting for beds at the hospital, but praised the “heroic” NHS staff for doing everything they could in an “impossible situation”.
She added that he was “confused” by the delays but “had a smile on his face” when he finally got on to a ward.
“When I saw all the people waiting on trolleys, I was shocked. You hear about these things but to see it is another thing entirely,” said Rachael.
“They were lined up in any space they could find. I saw another corridor which was packed with more patients and paramedics.
“These were people who had come by ambulance and were waiting to be admitted.
“I was told the paramedics had not been able to hand the patients over. I was horrified.”
She added: “The heroic staff were amazing – they were run ragged. They just kept going. I was amazed at their stamina.
“The staff have been brilliant. You talk to them and they are really worried. Even the cleaner was helping out. Everyone is pulling together and doing their best but the situation is dire.”
Lisa Kelly, chief operating officer for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which declared a critical incident last month, said: “We sincerely apologise to Mr Solomons and his family for the delay he has faced being transferred to a ward.
“This is not the service we aim to provide our patients with. Our staff are working incredibly hard to offer the best care.
“We continue to work with our partners to discharge patients no longer needing an acute hospital bed.”
Stanley trained at the codebreakers’ HQ Bletchley Park during World War Two and served with the RAF at a listening station in Hong Kong. He later became a teacher, and in retirement he studied for a PhD.
He remains in hospital but the good news is that his condition is improving, and he’s hoping to be discharged back to his care home soon.
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